Updated: Jul 25
What are D&O and E&O coverage and why is it important?
Even though you may have the best intentions while running your church, there’s always the possibility that someone will commit a mistake. Unfortunately, these mistakes can be costly to both you and your church. Management and professional liability insurance in the form of Directors & Officers (D&O) insurance and Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance can help protect your personal and church assets in the event of a lawsuit.
What is D&O insurance?
D&O insurance protects church directors and officers from the costs associated with being sued for actual or alleged claims of misconduct while running an organization. What are some examples of what D&O insurance may cover?
Failing to provide adequate financial oversight.
Use of budgeted or donated money for something other than for what it was originally intended.
Putting the church’s tax-exempt status at risk.
Do I need D&O insurance? It’s typically a good idea to carry D&O insurance for you and your church to help protect them from potential lawsuits. Even if your church runs effective ministries, a D&O insurance policy brings reassurance to your church that helps your staff focus on what matters most — focusing on your church and making disciples.
Have questions about how D&O or E&O insurance can help protect you and your church?
What is E&O insurance?
E&O insurance – sometimes known as pastoral counseling for religious organizations – provides professional liability insurance that is designed to protect clergy members from legal action that relates to a work mistake, misguided counseling, or alleged negligence.
What are some examples of what E&O insurance would cover?
Failure to recognize suicidal tendencies.
Misguided counseling to congregants on topics like adultery, addiction, etc.
Do I need E&O insurance?
An E&O insurance policy helps protect your ministry from the defense costs associated with potential lawsuits. And while you and your staff may try to do the right thing, the possibility of errors or disagreements leading to a lawsuit can never be fully eliminated. By carrying an E&O insurance policy, you can help to prevent your church’s responsibility for an expensive legal bill.
It’s important to remember that anybody can sue you – whether their allegation is justified or not – and that the legal costs of a lawsuit can add up very quickly. Having a judge rule in your favor doesn't guarantee that your court costs will be paid for by the claimant, but a D&O or E&O policy can help you and your organization fund your legal team regardless of the outcome.
When you are covered by UMIP, we will be there when you need us. Churches have unique needs. As a part of the denomination, we understand the unique needs of United Methodist churches and their operations, which is reflected in our coverage options. Your ministry deserves outstanding insurance and UMIP works for you each day to help protect your church’s people, property, and finances.
Let's talk! Contact us at 484-654-3380 or at UMI@sovinsurance.com.
This content has been prepared by United Methodist Insurance Company (UMI) for informational purposes only. No article or document may accurately contemplate all possible scenarios or church resources. As such, this information is meant to foster discussion by the individual church and its members to develop a plan tailored to its own circumstances. UMI is providing this information with no warranties or guarantees of any kind and it should not be viewed as legal, financial, or other professional advice. All liability is expressly disclaimed. Any claim examples described herein are general in nature, may or may not be based on actual claims, and are for informational purposes only. Any coverage available for a claim is determined from the facts and circumstances of the claim as well as the terms and conditions of any applicable policy, including any exclusions or deductibles. In the event of a conflict with the content herein, the terms and conditions of any issued policy will control. Individual coverage may vary and may not be available in all states.
The commercial insurance coverages for United Methodist Insurance are sold and serviced directly or indirectly by Sovereign Insurance Agency (CA Lic. No. 0B01380) ("Sovereign") and underwritten by various available insurance markets. Sovereign pays United Methodist Insurance a royalty for the use of its intellectual property.